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Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist

 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:59 pm 
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First, some editorial comments (I know, these are relatively unimportant at this stage, but as I was a technical editor for a while it bothers me anyway):

It would be more legible to space the unit entries so they don't run into each other.

I'd suggest that rather than rewriting every SM transport with SW unit names that you note the SW infantry with "may be transported as Tactical Marines" and so on.  As of right now, for example, the Sky Claws lose all their transport options, which by the letter of the rule means no air transport.  Barring that, all transports need to be double checked so you have all the names correct, e.g. "swiftclaws bike squadron" in the Thawk instead of "Bikes".

Are you sticking with the Pred Destructor at 5+FF intentionally?  Both the NetEA and the EpicUK (whose rule you're using) bumped them to 4+FF.

The name of the scout garrison special ability should be consistent.

I'd put the rare formations in with the other formations and list them as "0-1 per Core formation".  That is easy to grasp and you're not cross-referencing two tables to get formation counts.

====

On the list... first some questions:

Is the Venerable Dread supposed to be a Battle Leader, or can it be any of the Heroes as well, or just Heroes?  I seem to recall that there are no Librarian dreadnoughts because the process destroys psychic potential.

I take it from the previous comments that it is intended to have a Battle Leader and a Hero both, for 2 Leaders?  TRC hit that pretty well, so I'll not duplicate it.  It might be okay but it's definitely something to pay close attention to.


I think there are some play style issues.

There is no way to take infantry fire support.  It's okay to not have the support or to have it severely reduced, but just do it instead of pricing it out of the market.  Grey Hunters with a Long Fang upgrade costs 50 points more than tacs, has 33% less firepower and is easier to suppress.  Marginally better FF and the Battle Leader definitely doesn't make up for that.  If you load up on Razorbacks (as I like to do for a take-and-hold SM infantry formation) they come out proportionally closer in abilities-v-points, but are still have the same weaknesses and cost more.

I'm all for a different fighting style that emphasizes assault heavily, but I think the lack of a "hold this ground" formation option might end up being a problem strategically.

In terms of fire support, you'll see armies using Typhoons and possibly Preds/LRs as fire support instead.  Whirlwinds, of course, will also work but aren't mobile like the others.  There's nothing inherently wrong with that.  It's just something to watch.

Going back to Long Fangs, I'm scratching my head over why you would put them in a list.  They don't pack enough firepower to make a formation into real fire support so they will be primarily for BM placement.  That can be a great benefit for the slow, assault-oriented force, but I still think they cost too much for that.  By the time you take out the unit they replace, they cost 115 points.  Sure, they pack twice the firepower of a basic Devastator unit, but a basic Dev is only ~60 points and they benefit from the ability to perform as a dedicated firepower formation.  Long Fangs should be in the 80-90 point range, so +50 points for the upgrade would seem more accurate (~35 from the lost unit, +50 = ~85 points).

The list seems geared heavily towards deep strike options in general and air assault in particular.  There's a preponderance of high CC units with slow speeds.  Even the Sky Claws and Swift Claws, with their higher CC and/or lower FF, have a greater need to reach CC than other SM forces.  I think that the net effect of all this is going to be like the Assault Marines in the Codex list - pricing has to be done for the crushing air assault, which then renders all other uses too expensive.

Ground SM forces can work in a couple of ways.  The first, using the Codex list, is high activation count, fast, flexible formations - some infantry for durability and/or fire support, with Speeders, Bikes and touch of deepstrike ability.  The second, for lists like Salamanders and Scions, is sufficient access to Land Raiders as transport to be more durable than normal SMs, maintain mobility and pack decent firepower across the force.

How have playtests gone?  Have they been able to approximate the second approach with core formations in LRs?  I could see that might work, with the Grey Hunter formations front-running a bunch of fast bikes and speeders.


Now that I've criticized...

I love the Swiftclaw Bikes, both the stats and the formation composition.  I think this will be an excellent formation.  If anything, it might be a hair too cheap.  I think with the larger number of units and the Battle Leader it will have a very similar role to the Codex bikes, but it will be more durable, slightly less effective in FF and, obviously, much better if they get lucky and reach CC.

Although I am unsure about the full implementation, I do like the simple Dread + character for Venerable dreads.

====

I think I'd try the following:

I would definitely increase the price of air transport and reduce the formation cost for the infantry.  In the Codex list that gets a bit squirrely as some formations can double-pack a Thawk and triple-pack an LC while others cannot.  Also, you end up with oddities like the Devastators which work fine on the ground as fire support and don't gain as substantially from an air assault as some other formations.  However with all the attachments being units of 6, that's 1 formation per Thawk and 2 per LC at max (Wolf Guard throw a monkey wrench into that pattern but not horribly), and you don't have the problem with fire support infantry losing out.

I think I'd split out the core formation, rather than leaving it all mix-n-match.  Then you can price the separate formations based on the roles they best fit, rather than pricing a single formation for its 1-2 min-maxed options.

I haven't read the most recent codex so this may not conform to the latest background iteration, but I might do something like...

Core

Grey Hunters - 6 + Battle Leader + Transport - Dread, Hero, Hunter, LR, Long Fangs, Razorback, Vindicator
(this is a decent FF formation and could pack moderate fire support, but should end up fairly inexpensive)
250 points

Blood Claws - 4 + 2 Grey Hunters + Battle Leader + Transport - Hero, Hunter, LR, Razorback
(CC focus - note, with no Dread option, Thawk transport can only use 6 of the 8 slots but they're still going to be much better in a Thawk than on the ground)
275 points (?)

Support

Long Fangs - 2 + 4 Grey Hunters + Battle Leader + Transport - Dread, Hero, Hunter, LR, Razorback, Vindicator
(this is a Dev equivalent, but tougher, providing durable fire support and pretty darn strong FF - if this is too much Long Fang, they could be rare)
300-325 points

Skyclaws - dedicated formation
300 points (? - not sure how this would work in air assault)

Others as they are.

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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:04 pm 
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Quote: 

Are you sticking with the Pred Destructor at 5+FF intentionally?  Both the NetEA and the EpicUK (whose rule you're using) bumped them to 4+FF.


EpicUK did nothing at all with the stats for Predator Destructors.

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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:06 pm 
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If you think that Skyclaws are too cheap for air assaults then i suggest upping the cost of the Thunderhawk and Landingcraft. So the Skyclaws needn't being made more expensive.

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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:24 pm 
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Quote: (Evil and Chaos @ Nov. 16 2009, 17:04 )

EpicUK did nothing at all with the stats for Predator Destructors.

huh.  weird.  My bad.

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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:34 pm 
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Quote: 

If you think that Skyclaws are too cheap for air assaults then i suggest upping the cost of the Thunderhawk and Landingcraft.


Isn't that going to be more confusing having vehicles that cost differently depending on which list they are in?

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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:47 pm 
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Quote: (Honda @ Nov. 16 2009, 22:34 )

Isn't that going to be more confusing having vehicles that cost differently depending on which list they are in?

While I get your point, there are environmental factors that can strongly affect the value of a unit.  Marauders and Warhounds in SM versus IG provide a good example.  Those have the same point cost but it is quite obvious from the difference in how prevalent they are that the internal balance issues are quite different.

The Salamander list found a similar problem to the one I think the Space Wolves will have.  Salamanders are heavy on FF and short-range weapons (meltas and flamers) so the list benefits strongly from deepstrike tactics.  It went with a 225 point Thawk.

So far, no one has reported any problems in playtesting based on the difference in point cost.

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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:13 am 
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Quote: (Honda @ Nov. 16 2009, 22:34 )

Quote: 

If you think that Skyclaws are too cheap for air assaults then i suggest upping the cost of the Thunderhawk and Landingcraft.


Isn't that going to be more confusing having vehicles that cost differently depending on which list they are in?

It shouldn't considering each list is self contained. I.e. you look at the page in front of you and you do the army. Why would you refer to a separate list when making it? Certainly stats wise it could be, hence Epics use of a single name is a single stat, no matter how irritating. But this takes place before a game so shouldn't cause confusion in it.

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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:57 pm 
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Dave:  Have you considered any further revisions?

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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Last I heard he was working hard towards an SQL certification so more important stuff has had to take a back seat  :laugh:


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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:09 pm 
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I'm hoping to spend some time on it over the Christmas break, at least an updated draft by new years I would imagine....


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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:31 pm 
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I like the style of the list with the core formations containing a character and their closest brothers.

Prehaps it could be expanded to the following:

Hunting pack
1 charcater (captain, Librarian, chaplin)
2 - 5 of the following
blood claw pack (3 stands) (+ rhinos)
grey hunter pack (3 stands) (+ rhinos/razorbacks)
0-1 long fangs (1 stand) (+ razorbacks)
Scouts (1 stand)
Sky claws (2 stand)
Thunder wolf (1 stand)
Swift claws (2 stand)
0-1 Wolfguard (1 stand)
0-1 dreadnaught

0-1
The great hunt
1 Supreme commander
2 - 5 of the following
blood claw pack (3 stands) (+ rhinos/razorbacks)
grey hunter pack (3 stands) (+ rhinos/razorbacks)
0-1 long fangs (1 stand) (+ rhinos/razorbacks)
Scouts (1 stand)
Sky claws (2 stand)
Thunder wolf (1 stand)
Swift claws (2 stand)
Wolfguard (1 stand)
0-1 dreadnaught

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 Post subject: Attempt at a Space Wolves armylist
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:41 pm 
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Gents.

I'm afraid that at the moment I don't have the time / energy to carry on giving this list the attention that it rightly deserves.

I don't think it's right for my personal time-poor status to hold the list up further, so if someone/a few of you would like to take it on further please feel free.

I have tabulated most of the list into a slightly more friendly format, so please PM me if you would like my current working document :)


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